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Home Office minister throws his weight behind Norwich Prince of Wales drink curb plans

PUBLISHED: 17:36 28 April 2014 | UPDATED: 22:53 28 April 2014

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker

A Home Office minister has thrown his weight behind plans to curb the impact of binge drinking on the Prince of Wales Road in Norwich.

A Home Office minister has thrown his weight behind plans to curb the impact of binge drinking on the Prince of Wales Road in Norwich.

Norman Baker praised work to look at ways of dealing with excessive drinking in the heart of Norwich clubland, and said he would be happy to meet local MP Simon Wright and a local councillor to see how the plans could be taken forward.

Liberal Democrat minister Mr Baker also praised Ben Price, a Green city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, who conducted a report into tackling anti-social behaviour.

It comes as a radical action plan to tackle long-running problems in the heart of Norwich’s clubbing district, including Prince of Wales Road and Riverside, has been approved by city council chiefs.

The new plan, which comprises 12 key measures, including experimental road closures, extra CCTV cameras, taxi marshals, and new toilets, was drawn up by council officers and police as part of a bid to cut alcohol-fuelled violence in the heart of the city and help make it safer.

It follows work done over the past year, through which Norwich City Council and partner organisations identified a string of key issues, which they say need to be dealt with.

In excess of 30,000 policing hours a year are invested in the night time economy in Prince of Wales Road.

Mr Wright told the House of Commons: “Prince of Wales road in my constituency is the centre of Norwich’s night-time economy, and residents and councillors have launched a stakeholders forum to consider how to deal with the impact of excessive alcohol consumption in the area.”

He called for Mr Baker to join him in welcoming “community-led activity” and asked the minister to meet him and Green councillor Ben Price, who was behind a stakeholder group, to consider how recommendations could be taken forward.

Mr Baker said; “I welcome the community strategy document he mentions and would be happy to meet him and Councillor Price.”

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